The off ball altercation that shows Finn Russell was 100% in Owen Farrell’s head
While the rugby world has been watching Duhan van der Merwe’s wonder try at Twickenham over and over again since Saturday, there is something many people might have missed.
It all happened about 20 metres behind the South African-born winger as he was storming towards the try line, and involved Finn Russell and Owen Farrell. The England captain was the first player van der Merwe beat in his winding run (although slightly helped by a loitering George Turner), before going on to beat another 50 players.
Russell was not going to let this mistake by Farrell get overlooked, and can be seen in the back field sprinting into Farrell in quite a bizarre altercation. That was not enough for the Scot though, who continued shouting at his 2021 British & Irish Lions teammate.
Farrell had already smashed Russell earlier in the match, forcing the fly-half to knock the ball on, so this was a bit of revenge, although the greatest revenge was Scotland winning 29-23.
This is what Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said about the van der Merwe try: “It was incredible, wasn’t it? It reminded me of when, for everybody of a certain age, you played Jonah Lomu Rugby and suddenly one person can go quicker.
“Duhan hasn’t had much rugby over the last few weeks. He’s trained really well with us but to play like he did today on the back of an injury, and not playing for Edinburgh, is real testament to how he’s got himself in this position, both mentally and physically.
“And I almost saw a different side to Duhan there as he stepped and then accelerated away.
“His finish for the last try was similar to two years ago (an 11-6 victory) when he finished in the opposite corner.
“It was a brilliant finish but that first try was amazing, and one that gets the Scotland supporters going crazy in the stand and silences everyone else because you don’t see tries like that very often.”